Ribbons & toes


For the Christmas of

my sixteenth year,

I wanted one thing over all else.

It was my most brilliant idea, too.


So much so, I went straight to

the place of my parents work,

and bounding in,

immediately declared that

I wanted a new car for Christmas.


My dad and mom both stopped working,

and looked over at me.

My mom put down her coal shovel.


“Why do you think you deserve a new car?” My mom asked.


“Well, I said, thoughtfully,

“all of my friends have new cars.”


But my mom was clever and

prepared for such an answer.

“If all of your friends

were to jump off a bridge,” she asked,

“would you?”


“No.” I replied.


“All right,” she said.

“But would you for a new car?”




That Christmas morning

I awoke to find a long

red ribbon tied to my big toe.

What’s this? I asked myself.

Could it be?


Excitedly, I got out of bed

& began to follow the ribbon as it

led me out of my room.


The ribbon led me:


down the hallway,

into the living room,

past the Christmas tree,

into the foyer

out the front door,

over the moat,

across the yard, and

into our driveway (!)


Where it then


up and around a tree,

before …


going back across the yard,

over the moat,

through the front door,

into the foyer

past the Christmas tree,

through the living room,

down the hallway, and

back into my room.



to my great disappointment,

I discovered that it was

tied to my other toe.